Posts Tagged ‘Potassium’

Nutrients in the Garden 12: How To Read A Fertilizer Label

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
As promised, this week we are looking at fertilizer labels. When you walk into the garden center you will see there are lots of different choices. Below, I show different samples of fertilizers. I am not promoting one or the other; I use a variety of different fertilizers for different purposes. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 11: Why Fertilize?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Snow and rain have me talking about gardening rather than actually gardening. I’m not complaining. We need the moisture and it gives me the opportunity to help a few friends by planting seeds of inspiration for their first garden. (more…)

Nutrients in the Garden 10: Prepare & Amend

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Oh, my sore muscles! I took advantage of the sunshine and removed some plant stubble that was in the garden since last fall. It felt good getting dirty and putting in a few hours of hard work. These sore muscles remind me that gardening is great exercise and part of a healthy lifestyle! How many overweight gardeners do you know? (more…)

Science Activity: NPK Bracelets

Monday, February 17th, 2014
This fun bracelet activity is a great way to introduce the three essential plant nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and potassium (K). As students put the various beads together on the bracelet, they will have a better understanding of what plants need to grow. Also, use Nutrients for Life’s free elementary activity book, Fun with the Plant Nutrient Team, to enrich the lesson. If using with the booklet, build the bracelet as students work their way through the book. Interestingly, plants do not technically need soil to grow, as seen with air plants and hydroponic setups, but simply the essential plant nutrients (N-P-K). Grade Levels: 2 to 6 (but we have seen high school teachers adjust this for their classes!) Length: 10 minutes/25 minutes when used with Fun with the Plant Nutrient Team Group size: This activity works well in both small group and large settings Objective: Students will be able to recall what conditions plants needs to grow, such as plant nutrients (in the soil), sunlight, water, and air. Materials needed: (One per student) Note: We purchased individual N, P, and K (9mm) alphabet beads at http://www.namebeads.com. Green chenille sticks (pipe cleaners) or green ribbon Green pony beads Clear pony beads Black or brown pony beads Yellow pony beads Light blue pony beads N, P, K 9mm beads (optional) Purple pony beads Procedure: Place each bead on the chenille stick, while reviewing what each bead represents. (Green chenille stick)—Plants: Farmers grow plants that require nutrients from the soil (Black or brown bead)—Soil: Farmers help to protect the environment by testing their soils to learn if the soil contains the right amount of nutrients. If nutrients are missing, the farmer will add more by adding fertilizer. The three main nutrients needed for the plant to grow are N, P, and K. (N bead - optional) — Nitrogen (Green Bead)—Nitrogen helps the…

New Resource: Potash Video & Potassium Cycle Poster

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
The Nutrients for Life Foundation is proud to provide its latest free education resources: The Potash Mining Video and Potassium Cycle Poster. Every plant needs three basic elements to grow nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Potassium (K) is important to plants because it acts as a regulator. It helps plants efficiently use water, transfer food, and protect against structural stress. If a plant is deficient in potassium, it is much more susceptible to stunted growth and disease. K is found naturally in soil, but sometimes must be replaced, especially after years of growing plants on the same land. So where do we get the K in fertilizer that provides all these great benefits? From mining potash in deposits of ancient evaporated inland oceans. To learn more, watch The Potash Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uujIepkI6Ow   Also, check out our new Potassium Cycle Poster available free through our website. It is so meaningful for science classes to expose students to natural biogeochemical cycles, such as the potassium cycle. Even if students are unable to recall every aspect of the potassium or phosphorus cycle months after your class, the concept of the cyclical nature of earth’s major resources is an essential concept for tomorrow’s generation.   Mineral weathering, plant residues, animal sources, and fertilizers supply K to the plant roots. In some soils, mineral weathering primarily supplies enough potassium to provide sufficient amounts of K, with help from plant residues, biosolids, and animal sources. However, continual use of the soil for crops or gardening can deplete potassium faster than natural weather and other sources can replenish it. Runoff, erosion, plant harvest, and leaching can be causes for potassium loss. In those cases, potassium fertilizer can restore amounts. We hope these new resources invigorate your soil science lessons and are a helpful addition to your classroom! Keep up with the Foundation- Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube 

Mid-Season Side Dressing

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
Whew, a week of sunshine and the garden looks great. The tomatoes I last blogged about last week have doubled in size, thanks to the sunshine and fertilizer. We also enjoyed our first harvest of broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce. Yum, yum! My girls gobble up this fresh produce, consuming fresh foods that are a good source of protein, vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, without evening knowing how good it is for them! (more…)

Fascinated with Fertilizer

Monday, June 24th, 2013
In agriculture, we are trying very hard to get the word out: we feed the world. Our mission is to produce a large and safe food supply in a way that is environmentally sound and beneficial. Another organization telling the agriculture story is Illinois Farm Families. They have opened their farms to Chicago area moms; moms who want to know how their food is grown. They bring along their cameras and notepads and share with their peers what they see, hear and learn on the farm. (more…)

Hungry Tomato

Friday, May 31st, 2013
If this is the future of my tomato crop, I am in trouble!  This little guy has been in the ground for two weeks. He has had sun, rain, rain, rain, sun, and rain. He needs a little TLC in the form of warm temperatures and N-P-K!! I cannot control the sun, but I can control the nutrient level in the soil. (more…)

Tour of a Potash Mine

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
I have heard that potash was a natural resource and mined underground, never had I considered going underground to confirm those facts, until I was invited on a tour with the rest of my Nutrients for Life colleagues. We met in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and drove about forty-five miles to the PotashCorp Allan Plant. Upon arrival, our guide gave us disposable white jump suits to wear to protect our clothing. I appreciated the protection but not necessarily the “flattering” style. Hard hats, protective glasses and flashlights were also issued. (more…)

Soils and AP Science

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
Look at these scientists! Lead by AP science teacher, Nancy Bridge, these students measured the amount of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) present in five different soil types. Did you know they could do that? When I want to know the levels of NPK, I send soil samples to the soil scientist at the university. Skip the university - in Mrs. Bridge’s class, the students get to do it themselves. How cool is that? (more…)

The Secret to a Colorful Landscape

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
I like to think I have the prettiest house on the block! A little prideful, I know, but I can’t help it! I like being outside, and gardening gives me an excuse to enjoy some sunshine.  I enjoy planting, watering, and nurturing a plant to its fullest potential. To keep my landscape the “prettiest on the block,” I plant a combination of perennials and annuals.  By planting more annuals than perennials, my garden is full of bright colors all summer long. (more…)